Rice picks England over Ireland for international future

Declan Rice has chosen England over the Republic of Ireland

Declan Rice has chosen England over the Republic of Ireland

The Football Association of Ireland can confirm that Declan Rice (West Ham United) has opted to purse his worldwide career with England.

"Declan rang me today and said he has made a decision to give it a go with England".

'Good luck to him'.

Rice, 20, was capped three times by Ireland, but all of his appearances were in friendlies, which allows him to swap his global allegiance to the country of his birth. I have also spoken to Martin O'Neill and Mick McCarthy, Gareth Southgate and to friends and colleagues within the game whose opinion I respect. I am truly grateful for the support I have received in leading to this decision.

Rice had spent months deliberating on his decision with his family, girlfriend and friends as his stock has risen at West Ham, where he has made 27 appearances this season.

With Irish heritage but born in London, Rice says he considers himself "to be of mixed nationality".

"I have equal respect and love for both England and Ireland and therefore the national team I choose to represent is not a clear-cut, simple selection".

In a statement released via the FAI, Ireland boss Mick McCarthy shared his reaction to the news. "Particularly not for a young lad who never dreamed of being in this position".

Rice made the announcement in a lengthy statement which he posted on his Twitter account.

"I fully accept that some Irish supporters will be disappointed by my decision, and that everyone has different opinions in regard to the rules around global representation. My pride at wearing the Irish shirt was always 100% genuine". For now, my focus remains entirely on establishing myself as a Premier League player with West Ham United and working as hard as possible to improve and be successful.

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